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Valkyria Chronicles Released on Steam

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Valkyria Chronicles Released on Steam

Game News - posted by Crooked Bee on Tue 11 November 2014, 11:47:31

Tags: Sega; Valkyria Chronicles

Sega's Strategy RPG Valkyria Chronicles, whose PC port announcement came out of nowhere last month, has been released on Steam today (or unlocked for those of you who preordered it). The PC version includes all previously released DLC for the game, including:

Hard EX Mode (harder versions of skirmish missions in the main game)
Edy’s Mission “Enter the Edy Detachment” (a side story campaign)
Selveria’s Mission “Behind Her Blue Flame” (a side story campaign)
Challenge of the Edy Detachment (six challenge missions) ​

There was some initial worry that it was going to be another quick hackjob of a port akin to the Final Fantasy ports that Square Enix has been churning out, but according to this analysis by Durante, the port is actually surprisingly competent for a change:

I’m happy to report that Valkyria Chronicles is entirely free of both of these maladies. As you can see in the screenshot above, the game is happy to run at any spatial and temporal resolution your system claims to support. All of my in-game screenshots in this article are taken at 4480x2520 and downsampled—that’s more than 12 times the resolution the original PS3 version renders at. The game does remain limited to a 16:9 aspect ratio, but while not ideal this is now commonplace even in PC-focused games.

Valkyria scales up beautifully to the higher resolution, with the artistic intent fully intact but freed of the artifacts that detracted from it in the original release. You might have noticed that there are no further graphics settings, which could be indicative of ugly low-res shadows or other effects. However, a more in-depth study of the game’s rendering process reveal that everything scales with resolution (which makes sense)—e.g. shadow maps are rendered at 1280x1280 if you play at 1280p, while they use a full 4480x4480 with the resolution I play at. This works out beautifully in practice, with the quality of all effects increasing with increased rendering resolution.

I was personally surprised that even in a slower-paced game such as this, playing at 60 FPS (rather than the PS3 version’s 30) not only looks but also feels better. It’s not the massive difference expected in an action title, but especially with mouse and keyboard the added temporal resolution makes the controls feel more responsive and immediate. I successfully tested Valkyria at up to 120 frames per second, and was able to run it at over 100 fps at 4K resolution [...]

One additional central requirement on PC, beyond arbitrary resolution and framerate support, is built-in remapping of input devices. The Valkyria Chronicles port delivers here as well, including the ability to map two separate keys per action, which is something I personally always find very helpful. It’s clear that most effort went into making the keyboard and mouse controls work well in the battle interface, where it matters most. The keyboard mapping does a great job in the menus, even if mouse support there would likely be much more intuitive for PC gamers. In-battle, unit selection, movement and aiming works exactly as you would expect, surprisingly including even small touches like adjusting the sniper rifle zoom level with the mouse wheel. [...]

Beyond image quality and framerate, one area where the PC version offers a massive improvement over the console original is loading times. Everyone who has played the PS3 version knows that of the 40 or so hours the game takes to fully complete, at least half an hour will be spent staring at loading screens. On the PC version, the average loading time seems to be around 1 second, and that’s with the game stored on an old mechanical HDD. Saving the game is so rapid that at first I thought it wasn’t working correctly.​

Grab the game here.

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